Is Honey Good For Your Health?

Estimations suggest that honey has been used for nearly 8,000 years, particularly valued as a medicine. Also known as a popular sweetener, it has numerous health and beauty benefits. So if you are looking for a reason to pick up a golden jar on your next shopping trip, here are five that might appeal to you.

1. Moisturizer for your skin

Patricia Farris, a board-certified dermatologist from Louisiana, recommended honey as a skin moisturizer to deal with problems like acne and dryness. Its hydrating effect, she said, can be attributed to sugar molecules which help in holding water in the skin.

Applying honey directly can be as beneficial as using skin care products containing honey extract. Apply a layer of honey to your face after a warm shower (which can help open up your pores) and wash it off after 20 minutes.

2. Eases hangover symptoms

Had a bit too much to drink last night? Try some honey on toast for breakfast.

Scientists from the Royal Society of Chemistry, England, suggested that the ingredient may help people get through a rough hangover. Fructose, which is found in honey, was thought to help the body break down alcohol more effectively. 

Dr. John Emsley from the Royal Society added that honey on toast can add potassium and sodium to the meal, also thought to help in easing hangover symptoms.

3. Good source of antioxidants

It has been found that the darker the honey is, the more antioxidants it contains. Antioxidants can prevent cell damage that may increase the risk for diseases like cancer, heart disease, etc.

While adding the ingredient to meals can be a great way to enjoy sweetness and health, honey is still considered an added sugar. Going by guidelines from the American Heart Association, stick to one and a half tablespoons of honey per day or 10 and a half tablespoons of honey per week.

4. An effective cough remedy

"Drinking tea or warm lemon water mixed with honey is a time-honored way to soothe a sore throat," wrote Dr. James M. Steckelberg from the Mayo Clinic. "But honey alone may be an effective cough suppressant, too."

In one study from 2007, honey was found to provide significant relief to children who were facing difficulties in sleeping due to nighttime coughs. Most parents rated it as the best form of treatment among the options provided by the researchers.

5. Helps with healing wounds

A study published in 2011 explained that honey has beneficial properties such as the stimulation of tissue growth, enhanced epithelialization, and minimized scar formation.

"The number one clinical use for honey is to help treat wounds," said Joseph Feuerstein, the director of integrative medicine at Stamford Hospital, Connecticut. "There's even a pharmaceutical grade honey-based product, called Medihoney, that's used for wound healing."